MONSTER Raving Loony Party member Lord Toby Jug will be joining campaigners outside Huntingdonshire’s only mental health in-patient ward on Saturday to protest against its proposed closure.

Members of the Save Acer Ward campaign will be voicing their anger at a bid to close the 18-bed facility at Hinchingbrooke Hospital permanently.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for the ward, wants to move the beds to the Cavell Centre, Peterborough, as part of an overhaul of mental health provision across the county.

It temporarily closed the ward in October after concerns were raised by clinicians that it was unsafe. A final decision about its future will be made at a trust board meeting on March 28.

Protesters are hoping their demonstration, which coincides with the 18th anniversary of the ward, will put pressure on the board to reverse the closure decision.

Lord Toby, who lives in St Ives, said: "My step-dad was a user of the ward. He was admitted in 2006 with early signs of dementia and suffering from depression. I couldn't fault the service.

"Even if you have got an ordinary illness, going to Peterborough is stressful, but if you have got a mental illness, it is just a joke."

INFORMATION: The demonstration will take place outside the ward at the hospital from 2pm until 5pm. To find out mroe about the Save Acer Ward Campaign go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/328123390538395/?ref=ts or sign the online Petition at http://www.petitiononline.co.uk/signatures/acer-ward-closure-at-hinchingbrooke-hospital/